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Depression in a 10yo

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    Depression in a 10yo

    My 9yo turns 10 tomorrow but has been acting depressed for the past few weeks. I have three older sons so I know part of it is normal hormones but when I tried talking to him he said he’s jut not sure where he fits right now. Behaviorally he’s more like a 7 or 8 year old and he just recently became fluent in reading.

    He feels left out of things at our co-op because there’s no class he fits into. I had him in my Prima Latina class but he refused to do the work for it during the week so I took him out of the class. We already have enough push back over “how long” school takes. So he does independent SC3 work, draws, plays a bit with the preschoolers and runs around with his friends when they’re on breaks. Apparently one of his younger friends asked him yesterday why he wasn’t in their class and then said “Oh, yeah. It’s because you can’t read.” He corrected them that he can read but it bothered him.

    He often refuses to go outside (he used to beg to), spends hours on end working on paper and cardboard projects, and does school only after being “glued” to me for awhile (nothing new there). I’ve been taking the kids on nature outings after co-op each week and I made sure everyone has everything they need for any type of weather so they can go outside during the week even when it’s cold. But he often refuses to go outside now.

    We took him off dairy about a month and a half ago and it made HUGE changes in his behavior. But then this depressed patch started. I spoke with his OT about what was happening and she started targeting some emotion-boosting therapy exercise.

    What else can we do? He could sail through the first part of SC3 but he won’t put in the extra work. I tried giving him a pep talk but he flat out said “I don’t care.”
    Jennifer


    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

    #2
    Re: Depression in a 10yo

    Good morning, Jen. It seems as if you might have a two-fold problem. First, external: He started co-op and then was pulled after only a week. I remember from this discussion that he really wanted to be in that class. This could be very discouraging to him. He may understand the consequence of not doing the work, but he may not know why he does not do the work assigned to him. Second, internal: He may be struggling with genuinely not feeling good or energetic. This might be an issue for a good pediatrician to address.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Depression in a 10yo

      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      Good morning, Jen. It seems as if you might have a two-fold problem. First, external: He started co-op and then was pulled after only a week. I remember from this discussion that he really wanted to be in that class. This could be very discouraging to him. He may understand the consequence of not doing the work, but he may not know why he does not do the work assigned to him. Second, internal: He may be struggling with genuinely not feeling good or energetic. This might be an issue for a good pediatrician to address.
      Yes, I pulled him after the second week. He didn’t want to do the homework and I didn’t need another thing to fight him about when it wasn’t central to his core. I could put him back in the class, but if he doesn’t do the homework he won’t be prepared for recitations and games and such. If everyone else in the class is participating and knows the vocabulary, won’t he feel worse? He recently refuses to go to soccer practice for two weeks so the coach benched him for most of the game. That triggered a renewed effort. I’m not sure if that will work in school though.

      ETA: he said he doesn’t know why he didn’t want to do the Latin work, but usually his refusals to do school work are because “it takes too long” — even though his total school time is only 1-1/2 hours and that’s split by numerous breaks.
      Last edited by jen1134; 10-09-2018, 09:41 AM.
      Jennifer


      2018-2019
      DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
      DS-12 (6M)
      DS-10 (SC3)
      DD-8 (MP2)
      DD-6 (SC2)
      DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Depression in a 10yo

        Yes, the solution now would not be this: putting him back only to need to pull him again.

        From your soccer example, clearly something is going on. It is not merely academic work, although he is struggling with academic work in concentration, motivation, or both. You might revisit your EF/ADHD research, but some in-person help would also be good.
        Last edited by cherylswope; 10-09-2018, 09:48 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Depression in a 10yo

          Just made an appt with his pediatrician for next Tuesday.
          Jennifer


          2018-2019
          DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
          DS-12 (6M)
          DS-10 (SC3)
          DD-8 (MP2)
          DD-6 (SC2)
          DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Depression in a 10yo

            Sounds good. I'm sorry you are going through this. Bring your bullet-point list of symptoms. Try to narrow to your greatest concerns. Your son will likely be with you, so be sure to prepare your "speech" carefully ahead of time. Let us know --

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Depression in a 10yo

              FWIW: My oldest’s transition from 9 to 10 was really tough. And I remember at the time thinking he was the same age I was when I started to feel the first bout of what became depression in my older years. So I watched him like a hawk. After some fits and starts, he leveled out. It just took time and patience. We loved on him through it all but my husband and I were both very firm about expectations, behavior and responsibility.

              9 is tough. You’re not a tween, but you’re not little. You’re growing up, navigating new waters, waking up intellectually to a lot of realities, your body is changing, your friends are changing, your perception of the world is different. It’s a lot of adjustment.

              Part of refusal to do work at this stage is also a refusal to leave the safety of childhood. It can feel really scary. He knows he can’t be a baby, likely he doesn’t want to be, but he’s not ready for true responsibility. So he just sits down and does nothing while he tries to figure it out.

              Give him some space but keep encouraging him to try new things. With consistency and (some tough) love, he will find his way.
              Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
              Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Depression in a 10yo

                Btw, be sure to mention that he was not only removed from the co-op but also that you removed all dairy about a week before all of this began. In addition to recommending possible further evaluation, the pediatrician might want to address some things that are in his realm, such as testing for allergies, supplementing with calcium or magnesium, finding a soothing food substitute, etc. as he/she explores possible factors or solutions.

                In the meantime, see if you can conduct a private interview with your son to see if anything seems "fun" to him. If you can find something, it might be worth adding to the upcoming weekend. Unless you think all of his behavior is manipulative, it could help him to have something to look forward to. Just speaking from experience with my son when he is in a downward pull.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Depression in a 10yo

                  Originally posted by Anita View Post
                  FWIW: My oldest’s transition from 9 to 10 was really tough. And I remember at the time thinking he was the same age I was when I started to feel the first bout of what became depression in my older years. So I watched him like a hawk. After some fits and starts, he leveled out. It just took time and patience. We loved on him through it all but my husband and I were both very firm about expectations, behavior and responsibility.

                  9 is tough. You’re not a tween, but you’re not little. You’re growing up, navigating new waters, waking up intellectually to a lot of realities, your body is changing, your friends are changing, your perception of the world is different. It’s a lot of adjustment.

                  Part of refusal to do work at this stage is also a refusal to leave the safety of childhood. It can feel really scary. He knows he can’t be a baby, likely he doesn’t want to be, but he’s not ready for true responsibility. So he just sits down and does nothing while he tries to figure it out.

                  Give him some space but keep encouraging him to try new things. With consistency and (some tough) love, he will find his way.
                  Yes. I noticed the age too. Good point, Anita. This age began my son's toughest years, as peers seemed to leave him behind emotionally, socially, and in general maturation. He WILL feel better if he begins to accomplish some work, so do not be afraid to require it. He may appreciate your stamina, even if he feels he has none.

                  He may also be missing your husband, Jen, if the new work arrangement is still in effect. He might even be testing the new arrangement with Dad not so readily available to be the "bottom line" for work completion. Much to consider. Stay strong in your love for him above all else. You are on his side. You want him to succeed. You want him to have good, loving relationships and good, mutual friendships. You may feel swamped yourself, but you can assure him that you will see him through this. I have noticed over the years that this seems to comfort my children more than anything.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Depression in a 10yo

                    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                    Sounds good. I'm sorry you are going through this. Bring your bullet-point list of symptoms. Try to narrow to your greatest concerns. Your son will likely be with you, so be sure to prepare your "speech" carefully ahead of time. Let us know --
                    This is a really good point. I'm very protective of discussing all of my concerns in front of my child. I don't want to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. This might be a good opportunity to email the doc some of your bulleted concerns ahead of the appt. This can help the doc ask some very direct questions without having to pry...they'll know to ask how soccer is going, for example.

                    You may recall my son, 10.5 now, was flagged for depressive thoughts and behaviors at about this time last time. So, yes, there's something to this age. It concerned me enough to start behavioral talk-therapy for him. We made some lifestyle and schedule adjustments and things have improved greatly this year.
                    We have much more cushion in the schedule.

                    My son is also very upset about how long everything takes and how many subjects he has. Anita's point about not being little, but not being big, is spot on. He doesn't want to be a kindergartner, but he sure doesn't think he should have to do anymore schoolwork than his little sister either.

                    He's also not sure what he should do with his free-time...play with toys? Run around outside? Tackle his giant stuffed panda? That could be your son's issue with going outside...he's not sure what to do out there anymore. The things he used to do are little boy things. What does a big boy do outside? It might be time for some new outdoor things that are reserved for big boys...stilts, pogo hoppers, a basketball hoop, a zip-line, archery, etc.
                    Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                    DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
                    DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
                    DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Depression in a 10yo

                      We went to the pediatrician this morning. Like all of us were thinking, he thinks there’s a lot of things playing into this. He reinforced the “make him go outside” daily thing and recommended some food items known for boosting mood (nuts, DF dark chocolate, etc). He also suggested CBT to help with all the negativity about anything that takes time (he didn’t want to brush his teeth this morning because it was hard. I asked him why it was hard and he said it was because it takes too long.) The hope is this would help him be more dedicated with school which would help move him forward which would help with his lack of belonging in academic settings.

                      The doctor is referring us for CBT but he’s not sure there’s anyone locally who works with children. Does anyone have experience doing CBT at home? My big concern is avoiding anything wish-washy, new age, or influenced by eastern philosophy.
                      Jennifer


                      2018-2019
                      DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
                      DS-12 (6M)
                      DS-10 (SC3)
                      DD-8 (MP2)
                      DD-6 (SC2)
                      DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Depression in a 10yo

                        Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                        We went to the pediatrician this morning. Like all of us were thinking, he thinks there’s a lot of things playing into this. He reinforced the “make him go outside” daily thing and recommended some food items known for boosting mood (nuts, DF dark chocolate, etc). He also suggested CBT to help with all the negativity about anything that takes time (he didn’t want to brush his teeth this morning because it was hard. I asked him why it was hard and he said it was because it takes too long.) The hope is this would help him be more dedicated with school which would help move him forward which would help with his lack of belonging in academic settings.

                        The doctor is referring us for CBT but he’s not sure there’s anyone locally who works with children. Does anyone have experience doing CBT at home? My big concern is avoiding anything wish-washy, new age, or influenced by eastern philosophy.
                        My son is the same. Anything he perceives to “take so longl” he has a hard time with...so, life in general! What is CBT? My doctor thought ABA, but I think she got some mis-leading info from the therapy center. We are doing OT, but I am still not sure this is the correct route either. I am SURE he does not get out enough. We need to work on this.
                        Christine

                        (2018-2019)
                        DD1 8/23/09 - SC4
                        DS2 9/1/11 - SC2
                        DD3 2/9/13 - MPK

                        Previous Years
                        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3)
                        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK)
                        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others!)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Depression in a 10yo

                          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
                          My son is the same. Anything he perceives to “take so longl” he has a hard time with...so, life in general! What is CBT? My doctor thought ABA, but I think she got some mis-leading info from the therapy center. We are doing OT, but I am still not sure this is the correct route either. I am SURE he does not get out enough. We need to work on this.
                          CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It addresses faulty/negative thinking.
                          Jennifer


                          2018-2019
                          DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
                          DS-12 (6M)
                          DS-10 (SC3)
                          DD-8 (MP2)
                          DD-6 (SC2)
                          DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Depression in a 10yo

                            Jen, you can find printable CBT worksheets for children or use these as templates to make your own. This will let you control the content.

                            Just a tip: Watch the worksheets or programs that over-focus on "how this makes me feel," such as those in which the child draws, colors, and hyper-focuses on his sad face, because the child can pull himself further downward in such exploration. Focus instead on the flaws in the thinking, the effects of that thinking, and healthier ways to think.

                            Some of the worksheets name the flaws and give little illustrations for children. These can be fun to explore, especially because we find ourselves guilty of modeling them! They can become a good precursor to teaching logical fallacies for the entire family.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Depression in a 10yo

                              Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                              Jen, you can find printable CBT worksheets for children or use these as templates to make your own. This will let you control the content.

                              Just a tip: Watch the worksheets or programs that over-focus on "how this makes me feel," such as those in which the child draws, colors, and hyper-focuses on his sad face, because the child can pull himself further downward in such exploration. Focus instead on the flaws in the thinking, the effects of that thinking, and healthier ways to think.

                              Some of the worksheets name the flaws and give little illustrations for children. These can be fun to explore, especially because we find ourselves guilty of modeling them! They can become a good precursor to teaching logical fallacies for the entire family.
                              Love that you pointed this out, Cheryl. I read an article recently about rumination, social media, and adolescents. A prior therapist used to tell me, " Negative thoughts are normal. Identify them, acknowledge them, and move on. Don't dwell."
                              DD #1 : 23, college GRADUATE
                              DD #2 : 12 MP 7A - HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
                              DS #3 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                              DS #4 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                              DD #5: 6, MP 1 at HLS
                              DS #6: 4, cutest caboose on the loose
                              http://www.thekennedyadventures.com

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